Cross stitch pattern of Princess Celestia’s nightmare form, Daybreak from My Little Pony. Donate to my Patreon to download the PDF or PNG here: patreon.com/posts/patreon-only-my-11687266 Or, you can read my review of the episode A Royal Problem down below.
Grid Size: 140W x 200H
Design Area: 9.79″ x 14.14″ (137 x 198 stitches)
So, the map calls Starlight Glimmer to go fix a friendship problem at the palace by herself. Twilight mentions this is the first time the map has called just one pony, and it makes me wonder, why can’t Spike go? He doesn’t have a cutie mark so maybe a missing mark is the map’s way of calling him. But, no, this is not that kind of episode. Twilight says she’s not going to go with Glimmer, but she shows up anyway because she’s a helicopter parent. Turns out the royal sisters are being a royal pain to each other, and here Starlight Glimmer does something really mature. She doesn’t leap to conclusions. She investigates. Seems like Celestia is unhappy that Luna doesn’t want to eat the breakfast she made, and this is really understandable. Someone with a lot of responsibilities like Celestia gets so little free time to do anything, and instead of using that time to read a book or sleep in, she uses it to make something. And, I may be reading to far into this, but I notice that Celestia creating something perishable like food makes a lot of sense for someone who expects to live for thousands of years. If she had taken up pottery or something, she would be overrun with dishes and bowls that she would never use. Choosing cooking means that everything she makes, she will be able to eat and it will disappear.
Oh yeah, and then there’s Luna. She’s mad because Celestia doesn’t notice that she sets out fresh flowers every night… Listen, Luna, you know I love you, but you do know that houseplants are a thing right? You don’t have to change the flowers all the time, just plant some pots up there and water them every so often. It’s way easier. And, why are you putting out flowers that wilt so darn quickly anyway? Lavender is supposed to last more than a week in water, or did you forget that plants need water? Even so, dried lavender is a thing. You can leave those flowers up there for years even! She says she puts lavender up to help ponies sleep, but this is that one hallway that has all the stained glass. Didn’t they used to keep the Elements of Harmony at the end of this hallway? It’s really unlikely that ponies would pass through here on their way to bed! And, this all ignores the fact that lavender doesn’t even help you sleep at all!
Okay, it’s okay, breathe. Starlight gets the two sisters together to talk it out and they end up shouting at each other, so Glimmer does the rational thing and switches their cutie marks. I am so happy to see the return of this spell, continuity and whatnot, but you dun messed up, Glimmy. The sisters take it surprisingly well, and decide to just switch duties for the day. Celestia takes it as an excuse to go back to sleep which is exactly what I would do, and unfortunately, Luna has to stay up and do her sister’s job. So after a cup of joe presumably, she’s ready to tackle some public appearances. She does all right, but winces during the photo and the newspaper reports it as her not approving of the fundraiser. This is a great teaching moment, where you can tell kids not to believe everything the media tells you. Also, that newspapers used to exist… and had midday editions too. The past was a weird place.
Luna’s day shows how difficult it can be to hold a position of power. She feels bad about the photo, but can’t do anything to fix it. She tries to dispel a rumor, but only ends up making it worse, hilariously I might add. What’s interesting is that this is the first time we get to see either of the princesses doing anything really bureaucratic. I’m glad to see that they aren’t just figureheads. They have real political power and I salute DHX for not shying from something potentially boring.
And now for Celestia, and I expected Starlight Glimmer to stay up for this, but she falls asleep, which makes sense, so we get Celestia on screen alone talking to herself like a madmare. She goes into the dreamworld like a pro, no struggling with unfamiliar magic or anything like that, no. We get a blink and you miss it moment where you see a sliver of Applejack’s parents, which is such a tease, come on!
There’s this thing that Steven Universe does, where the first half of an episode is happy fun times and the second half is severe emotional trauma… well we’re in the second half. Starlight Glimmer is having a nightmare so Celestia comes to help, and who should show up but Nightmare Moon. Celestia’s got this, but she’s not prepared to face her own darkness in the form of Daybreaker. Now, Daybreaker mentions how powerful Celestia is, and it makes me think that she may be more powerful than she lets on, like she might have been holding back even during those times when her life was in danger. It makes sense that she would fear her own power after seeing her sister get consumed by Nightmare Moon. Turing into Daybreaker when the world was threatened by Tirek or Chrysalis would just make everything worse. Daybreaker brings up interesting insights into Celestia’s dark desires, like going back to being a supreme ruler and killing people who get in the way of her ideals.
But there’s a few things she says that I’m going to interpret way too much. She refers to Nightmare Moon as Luna. Since Daybreaker is all of Celestia’s dark inner thoughts brought to life, I’m thinking this means that Celestia hasn’t fully gotten over her sister’s transformation. She still sees Luna as Nightmare Moon even if she tells herself it’s over. She also tells Nightmare Moon “we get it. You’re sad”. Showing frustration at her sister’s depression that led her to becoming Nightmare Moon. It could be that Celestia didn’t know how to help Luna and just wanted her to get over it, but now she feels guilty that she couldn’t help. Okay, I’m done reading into things too much.
We cut to Luna having a bad dream about creepy foals before Celestia drags her into Glimmer’s dream, and I bet she thought her night couldn’t get worse. And as soon as her sister is there, Celestia’s facade of strength crumbles. She is literally crying. They have this adorable make up moment, and they’re just so cute together! Rallied by Luna, Celestia finds the power to defeat both Nightmare Moon and Daybreaker.
Outside the dream, Luna makes it up to Celestia with home made pancakes… when did she make those? They literally just woke up. They’re terrible anyway and they agree to be honest with each other from now on, even though Starlight came dangerously close to messing everything up. It’s a sweet ending to one of my favorite episodes this season.